Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Library of Congress Main Reading Room Open House

In honor of President’s Day, I was invited to attend the Library of Congress’ Main Reading Room Open House!  The Library of Congress opens the doors of the Main Reading Room to the public only twice a year.  It was a privilege and honor to take part in such a special day.  I read the book, Duck for President to an attentive and interactive group of students who were enjoying their day off from school.  I toured the library and learned about everything it has to offer.

The Main Reading Room is absolutely Majestic! You have to see it for yourself!

Picking a book was quite the task.

Reading Duck for President to a wonderful group of patrons.

Meeting the guests

The Card Catalogue!  When was the last time you used one of these?

Ciji Dodds

Miss International 2011

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heart Health 411- You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat.  It’s a saying we’ve all heard a million times.  But nothing could be truer.  Your diet has a tremendous impact on your heart health.  Certain foods can increase your heart disease risk.  By making changes to your diet, you can both decrease your heart disease risks and change your eating habits for good.  You may even shed a few extra pounds.  Here are some tips.
1.  Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol:  By limiting your intake of saturated and trans fats, you can significantly decrease your chances for heart disease and stroke.
2.  Choose low-fat protein sources: Substitute skinless chicken breasts, beans, skim milk, and fish for high fat meats. You will still get the protein that you need, but it will come in a more heart healthy package.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
4.  Select whole grains.
5.  Reduce the sodium in your food:  High levels of sodium elevates your blood pressure, which in turn increases your risk for developing heart disease. By decreasing your sodium intake, you can reduce your blood pressure and your cardiovascular risks. 
As Heart month comes to a close, I hope you all remain encouraged and empowered to make Heart healthy decisions not just for a month, but for the entire year.


Ciji Dodds

Miss International 2011

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spay-ghetti Dinner

In celebration of National Spay/Neuter Month, my family and I participated in the Spay-ghetti Dinner to benefit the Sullivan County Humane Society!

Many local celebrities were at the dinner! We had a fun night of music and delicious food!

All the proceeds benefitted S.N.I.P., a low cost spay/neuter program for local residents!

We enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner while helping animals! 
What a great way to wrap up National Spay/Neuter Month!

Jurnee Carr

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 28th is World Spay Day!

World Spay Day is presented by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in partnership with animal welfare organizations, veterinary professionals, businesses, and individuals worldwide to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as a proven means of saving animals’ lives.

My dog, Chi-Chi, is spayed!

Every 6 seconds, an animal is euthanized in the United States, simply because they are unwanted and the shelter cannot hold the massive amounts of new animals coming in daily.

A mobile spay/neuter unit outside of my father’s store!

How do we stop this mass killing? By getting your pet fixed! Spay/neuter is a permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for cats, dogs, and rabbits. When we spay or neuter pets, feral cats, and other street animals, we ensure those animals and their offspring will not add to the millions of already suffering animals. 

I encourage you to get your pet spay/neutered and help save the lives of many animals! We can make a difference! 

Need assistance for a spay/neuter? Check out this site:

Jurnee Carr

Focus on Fitness

The fitness portion of the Mrs. International Pageant allows each contestant the chance to show off all their hard work they’ve put in at the gym.  If you are a State Title Holder or on the horizon to compete for a State Title, remember this phase of competition is not to compare you to another female.  Instead, this phase is where you can let your eyes to all the talking.  It’s true. 
Some contestants don’t have a chance to focus on their fitness until they get involved in the pageant.  If you just started a workout program, or are in the middle of one, make the commitment to yourself to love yourself.  Love who you are when you are on-stage.  Walk with pride, hold your head up, smile and exude confidence.   The judges want to know they are crowning a strong woman and that woman is you!

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Focus on First Impressions

First impressions always count.  When competing in the Mrs. International Pageant, the first time the judges meet you is during your personal interview.  You should be aware of who you are and what you want to achieve before walking into that interview room.  I highly recommend seeking out a resource to prepare yourself, like fabulous Suzy Boots.

As women, we are nurturers by nature.  We are always able to adapt to any situation and juggle a million things at once.  When you get into that interview room, you need to let that all fade away.  You now have a clear focus to share with the judges including objectives and an action plan.  And, with your fabulous hair, make-up, shoes, jewelry and outfit, you will be a force to be reckoned with from that point forward in the competition

Janet Bolin

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heart Health 411- HEART for Women Act

More than one in three women is living with some form of cardiovascular disease.  More women die each year from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.  Every minute a woman dies from a stroke, heart attack or some form of cardiovascular disease.  The statistics are staggering!  In recognition of the urgent need to put women’s heart health at the forefront of the national agenda, the HEART for Women Act was introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Representative Lois Capps (CA).

HEART is an acronym for Heart Disease Education Analysis Research and Treatment for Women Act.  The purpose of the Heart for Women Act is to enhance the quality of, and access to care, for women with cardiovascular disease or who have suffered from a stroke.   The Act is aimed at ensuring that doctors have the most up to date information on new medical treatments, which could be lifesaving in the event of an emergency.  One of the major goals of the Act is to prevent heart disease and stroke in low income and uninsured communities. The importance of this Act cannot be overstated.  I encourage each of you to reach out to your representatives and encourage them to support the HEART for Women Act. 

Go Red!

Ciji Dodds

Miss International 2011

Monday, February 20, 2012

Go Red Congressional Reception

This past Friday I attended the Go Red Congressional Reception right here in D.C.  The reception was a screening of the short film, “Just a little Heart Attack,” starring Elizabeth Banks. It was also an opportunity for California Congresswoman Lois Capps to educate the audience about the importance of the Heart For Women Act, H.R. 3526.  There were presentations by the President of the AHA, Dr. Gordan F. Tomaselli as well as many others.  2009 Go Red Woman, Andrea Wongsam, was the mc and shared her own survival story. 

The short film was well received by the audience.  Although this was my second time viewing it, the message struck home.  Women’s heart health must remain a priority.  The message was reinforced by Andrea Wongsam, who had a heart attack when she was only 35 years old.  Tragically, she was also 13 weeks pregnant and her baby didn’t make it.  Andrea turned her personal tragedy into a personal mission to educate women about the importance of heart health.  If you haven’t already viewed it, take some time to check out the short film, “Just a Little Heart Attack.”
With Heart Attack Survivor & Go Red Woman Andrea Wongsam

Go Red!
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Sunday, February 19, 2012

50+ Expo & Make-A-Wish Chocolate Fest

February is one of the best months to combine my two passions: animals and health. February is National Heart Month and National Spay/Neuter Month! This past weekend I set up a booth at the WKPT 50+ Expo/Make-A-Wish Chocolate Fest and sold jewelry to raise money for my platform, Jurnee’s Journey and our mission to end euthanasia, and the American Heart Association!

My friends Katie Edwards, Catherine Hensley, Jules Rosario, and Abby Robinette all helped! Thank you ladies for working hard!

We raised over $500 that will be given to the AHA and no-kill rescue groups!

It was such an honor to meet Wish Child, David. He is battling Leukemia. Keep fighting, David! His wish is to take his family to Maui! WOW!

Miss Teen Virginia International 2012 – Tiana Dockery, was the Make-A-Wish Fairy!

I got to crown Lauren! Her wish was to go to London! She's one cool girl!

These Wish Kids are absolutely amazing! Way to fight!
I had such an amazing time this past weekend! I got to make so many new friends with the Wish Kids and raise funds to help animals!
Jurnee Carr

Friday, February 17, 2012

It’s Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week!

Sometimes we like to think of pets as “property” and something that must be detained. Therefore, the best way to control them is to chain them up in the back yard with limited space to live. This is completely wrong.

When a pet is adopted into a home, it should be out of love. Pets deserve a loving, forever home- a place where they can run around and get some fresh air, unlike a crowded, confined shelter.

Fences are a great way to keep your pet safe, secure, and chain-free. Unfortunately, the collar may be too tight and cause the resistance from the chain to be greater than necessary, causing excessive harm to the dog.
Ever seen a malicious dog, so enraged that it charges, only to be pulled back by its chain? It’s not because the dog is mean, it’s because it has been confined to a small radius of space to live and wants to get out.

I encourage you to have a heart for chained dogs this week, and also every day. A chain does not restrict the love that an animal can give!
Jurnee Carr

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Focus on Evening Gown

When looking for your evening gown, you want to find something that makes you feel magnificent.  Trust the pageant sponsors to find you something fabulous and within your budget, like Competitive Image.  You want the total look from head to toe and remember you’ll want your husband to compliment your look so be sure he is all set too.   

Practice walking in your evening gown.  So many times I’ve watched contestants treat the evening gown competition like they are in fitness wear.  Remember to slow your pace.  Embrace the moment.  Be elegant.  Command attention.   This is your time on-stage.  Use every second, otherwise another contestant will take it from you.

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Focus on Appearance

Competing in the Mrs. International Pageant allows contestants the opportunity to update their appearance, or make minor improvements they might have considered.  When you create your “pageant budget,” make sure you also have a line item for hair and make-up.  Your current hair style and color may need an overhaul or a simple touch up.  Be sure to research the look you want, talk with your hair stylist before diving into anything new, and give yourself enough lead time to test out your new do.

The same make-up you wear during the day is not appropriate for stage or photographs.  I highly recommend Clay Spann Cosmetics.  With the introduction of HD technology, you want to make sure you look your best.  After all, it’s all the little things that count and you don’t want your competition to have an edge over you.  Do you?

Janet Bolin

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart Health 411- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

There are days when I work myself into a complete tizzy because my dry cleaning wasn’t ready when promised, I woke up- it’s 17 degrees outside and the hot water isn’t working or (DC folks can relate) I’m running close to half an hour behind due to painfully slow traffic!  Before I know it, my head is throbbing! All because I allowed small setbacks to stress me out.  Stress is proven to have a detrimental impact on your health.  Although there isn’t a clear link between Heart Disease and stress, chronic stress can contribute to an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure which in the long run, can damage your artery walls. It is extremely important that we all learn how to manage our stress levels. 
I’m not a doctor, but over the years I’ve learned some helpful techniques for dealing with stress. Some through trial and error- others, through good old fashioned advice.  Here are my top 3.
  1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!-  My mom taught me this one.  There is no point in getting upset over small things (i.e. dry cleaning!) many of which are beyond your control.  Your being upset doesn’t change the fact that it happened or is not going to happen.  Save your stress for when it really matters- small setbacks happen everyday and if you get stressed out every time something happens, you’ll spend your life in a state of chronic stress!  When I feel myself getting upset, I stop and ask, “Is it really that serious?”  Usually the answer is no.
  2. Go outside and play!-  When I get super stressed, I go outside for a walk.  Fresh air and sunshine works miracles! Sometimes you need a moment to decompress and even a 5 minute walk helps me calm down.  It steadies my breathing and releases the tension in my body.  If I have more time on my hands, I go to a park (I love Rock Creek Park in DC) and I spend some time hanging with the deer.   Just don’t get too close or you’ll have another stressful situation on your hands!
  3. Meditate-  At least once a week I carve out an hour for spiritual meditation. It helps me clear my head and order my thoughts.  In situations in which I feel my stress level rising, I stop what I’m doing and give myself a few moments of deep breathing and silence.  In my opinion, the power of a taking a deep breath can’t be overstated. 
Go Red!
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crystal Couture and Go Red Casting

This past Friday I attended the oh so fabulous Crystal Couture and Go Red for Women Casting!  Crystal Couture is an experience like no other.  It combines the excitement and fabulosity of fashion shows with shopping.   Throughout the evening, models strutted their stuff on the catwalk, displaying the works of up and coming designers.  Miss DC 2010 Chelsey Rodgers was one of the fierce models!  In addition to the fashion shows, various boutiques were set up. You could buy anything from jewelry, to yoga classes and even the clothes off the backs of the models. I had a great time meeting the designers and learning about the design process. 
In connection with Crystal Couture, Go Red for Women hosted a casting call.  They interviewed women of all backgrounds about heart health and the importance of the Go Red for Women campaign.   Mrs. Maryland-Deanna Linz, Miss Teen Maryland-Margo Huffman, Miss Virginia- Kristyn Admire and Miss DC-Allison Hill participated as Go Red volunteers, conducting interviews and passing out information.   Later in the evening, Mrs. Maryland  Deanna Linz invited me to assist her with hosting the Crystal Couture Fashion Show!  It was a ton of fun!

At the Go Red casting

Shop until you drop!

I adored the shows!

Ciji Dodds

Sunday, February 12, 2012

National Spay Neuter Month

February is going to the dogs! This month is National Spay/Neuter Month and Responsible Pet Owners Month! It’s time to celebrate!

Being a responsible pet owner not only means taking your dog out for a walk or spending time with your cat by the fireplace, it also means getting your pet spayed or neutered.
At a spay/neuter mobile van that was parked outside of my father’s business!
Here are some health benefits of spay/neutering:
  • Aggression toward other dogs, particularly for males.
  • Territorialism, being overprotective of the dog's home ground.
  • The desire to escape from the yard and seek other mates in the outside world.
  • Dominance.
  • Marking territory.
It also relieves male and female pets from certain tumors and cancers, and multiple other health issues.
Be a responsible pet owner and get your pets spay/neutered! Don’t forget: World Spay Day February 28th!
To find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic near you, click here:
Jurnee Carr

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chicago Auto Show

I attended the Chicago Auto Show as a guest of Ford Motor Company and the Ford Truck Division.  Ford is a great partner for The NASCAR Foundation.  Ford provided a new 2012 Ford Explorer for the winner of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award last December.  The winner, Robert Weaver, is a volunteer for the Alabama School for the Deaf and Blind.  Robert is best known as the Ice Cream Man as he delivers ice cream treats to the students at the school.  You might have seen the video on Robert, in which he states he feels like an employee of the school – his paychecks get delivered to his heart.   

My first day at the show was day two for the media.  I had the chance to talk with a variety of media  and then later that evening was the First Look For Charity event at McCormick Place.

Janet with the Kim Teed, Ford Program Manager, who is responsible for the development and launch of the new 2012 line of vehicle for the law enforcement. 

Janet with three big race fans.   If you look close, you’ll see the 1:64 scale diecast.

Yes Jamie Allison, I would be more than honored to have this vehicle should Ford need to donate to the “Janet needs a new car campaign.”

Janet with the local military heros.

Janet with the Chicago Police Department.

Janet with friends from the Ford Regional office and the Spaten.

I’ll be at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday morning followed by an autograph session in the Ford Truck display.  With this being the largest auto show, I am hopeful I’ll have a chance to take a walk around and check out all the displays.  

Thank you to Ford Motor Company and the Ford Truck Division for having me as their guest and to my friends at NewScope Marketing, Brad and Penny Snyder for handling all my logistics.   

After two trips up North, I am looking forward to some warmer climates.  My next adventure takes me South for Speedweeks, leading into the 54th Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 26.  The NASCAR Foundation display will be located outside of Turn 4 starting next Thursday, so if you are coming to the race please be sure to stop by and get your limited edition 2012 NASCAR Unites arm band. 

Janet Bolin

Friday, February 10, 2012

Where Does it Go?

National Heart Month is all about raising awareness of the #1 killer of women-heart disease. People everywhere are getting involved in Hoops for Heart, Heart Walks and Galas, all fundraising money for the American Heart Association!

Participating in the Tri-Cities Heart Walk! My team raised $1,000!!

So where does the money go? Donations to Go Red For Women help support efforts to educate women and to fund breakthrough research by the American Heart Association that helps ensure women are represented in clinical studies.

Since 2004, through its fundraising efforts, Go Red For Women has contributed almost $44 million to women-focused research and has provided additional funds to life-saving educational programs and tools for physicians. Wow! 

Check out and donate to Go Red!

Jurnee Carr

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Red Dress Dash

My adventure to NYC on behalf of the AHA and Go Red For Women started off with a nice surprise – First Class Upgrade! My sister queen, Elizabeth Malvasia, and I were very appreciative. (Thank you US Air.)

After arriving at the hotel, we quickly checked in and then headed to Macy’s in Herald Square to walk through the event details. Along with my script, I had received a complete “Event Guide” which had headshots of everyone who was involved with the event. It even had images of the “Employee Entrance” for Macy’s security where we had to check-in. (Thank you, Monica!)

Janet Bolin, Lissa from AHA and Elizabeth Malvasia

The layout of the event included a main stage and the “Truth Wall” which was for each celebrity to sign, sharing why they ‘Go Red.’  There were also various counters set-up for the public to register to receive their own red dress pin and pick up a great red bag. 

Mrs. International 2011, Janet Bolin, assisting with registration prior to the event.

Mrs. International 2011, Janet Bolin, signed the Truth Wall sharing she will Go Red for her friends, family and especially her sister queens.

The Truth Wall

Event set-up before the public arrived

Vs. the over 1,000 people who quickly filled the 5th floor of Macy’s in Herald Square.

Janet Bolin introducing the Zumba demonstration

Janet Bolin welcoming all the media and attendees to the Go Red For Women Red Dress Dash

After the program, Elizabeth Banks, Star Jones, Nick Verreos and I were asked to sign the Truth Wall.

Janet Bolin and Nick Verreos from Project Runway

Nick Verreos, Elizabeth Banks and Starr Jones signing the Truth Wall

Elizabeth Banks and Janet Bolin

Janet Bolin and Starr Jones

Attendees wearing Red Dress Dash sashes were supporters of the Go Red For Women Campaign from Merck and Macys.

Attendees wearing Red Boas are the ‘Go Red Women’ who are heart disease survivors and who continue to share their stories to uncover the truth about heart disease.

Janet Bolin and Go Red Woman, Shermaine

Thank you so much to the magical people of Macy’s and Merck for their incredible support for Go Red. And to the talented team from Go Red for inviting me to be part of it all and to head up their show by being the Emcee.  I am also very grateful for the warm welcome from Nick Verreos, Star Jones, Elizabeth Banks and the Go Red Women.  

Thank you Kent Miller Studios for capturing some great photos while I was rehearsing my script.

It’s no surprise, this appearance is one of the top 5 best moments I’ve had as your Mrs. International 2011.  To all my sister queens and supporters, your efforts to also support National Wear Red Day have not gone unnoticed.  It is an honor to be amongst all of you knowing together we are making good on our promise to spread the word by telling 5 friends how they can get heart healthy and fight heart disease.

The magnificent Monica Flores from AHA Go Red For Women

Janet Bolin